Mark di Suvero

The Morgan Library & Museum

Mark di Suvero is one of the great masters of abstract sculpture, and on the basis of the three works recently on display in the Gilbert Court of the Morgan Library and Museum, arguably the greatest. All fashioned from steel, Heraldic Bourgogne, 1995, Homebody, 2004, and Sandwich I, 2007, evince an intricate dynamic, expressive power and inherent grandeur. They immediately invite comparison with David Smith’s constructions—also made from steel—which, though laboriously handmade, maintain a sort of industrial look. Di Suvero’s works, too, have an industrial appearance—the rusted steel accords them as much—but they also possess a presence and power that Smith’s sculptures lack.

For one thing, di Suvero’s constructions forcefully stretch in space, seeming to expand as they do so, while Smith’s works are sedately concentrated in themselves, generally rising to just a little more than human

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